Digital, Accelerated: How to Use Video to Connect with Customers

Agent Experts, Marketing, Personal Lines, Small Commercial Lines, Technology

In a society where people are surrounded by images everywhere, video can be a powerful tool for agents to build personal relationships with clients.

People like to do business with people they know, like and trust, and video gives clients a sense of an agent far beyond what they can get from a still photograph or written words.

But, as some camera-shy agents know, video can feel intimidating. An agent may be perfectly comfortable sitting across a desk from a client and explaining why rental reimbursement is important—but put a camera in front of the agent and they completely freeze up.

Getting comfortable on camera

Our staff members at McClain Insurance range in age from 20’s to 60’s, all with varying levels of comfort with being in front of a camera. When we started integrating more videos into our communications and marketing plans, we had to ease our staff in. We started with training employees to do video proposals, then we hired a professional videographer to film a video of the team at a community event we sponsored.

In the last few months, we’ve been using video more than ever. When our staff all started working from home in March, we began having a weekly team meeting on Zoom. Everyone was eased into seeing themselves and the other team members on camera. We started strategizing ways we could use videos on social media to stay connected with our clients and our community.

Is anyone else daydreaming about boating season? ☀️⛵️ Today, @Nick Pembroke shares his boat insurance wisdom with us. Many Washington boat owners mistakenly believe their home insurance policy covers their boat. Before you go out on the water this spring, review your insurance coverage to make sure you’re properly protected. If you have questions, we’re here to help!

Posted by McClain Insurance Services on Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Surprisingly, some of the staff members who had been the most hesitant about using video were the first to volunteer. We started posting a weekly “Wednesday Wisdom” video with an agent sharing a few quick, easy insurance tips. And on “Team Thursdays,” one of our team members takes over our social media accounts and shares a few pictures and videos throughout their day.

We see these videos as a way of making deeper connections with our clients, especially when we’re not able to participate in community events or meet with clients in-person.

For agencies that are hesitant about making the jump into video, this is a great time to do it because everybody has already been forced out of their comfort zones.

Here are some of our tips for getting started with video:

Be authentic

Some agencies have invested in elaborate video productions complete with green screens, light towers and professional editing. It’s easy to see those productions and feel intimidated.

But, especially for videos for social media, it doesn’t have to be a big, polished production. You can just use your smartphone in a spot with decent lighting.

The finished product doesn’t have to be perfect. Just choose a topic you’re comfortable talking about and talk like you would to a client or a friend. As long as you’re being authentic, people will connect with that in one way or another.

Start small and unscripted

Posting videos on social media is low stakes. You’re using your phone, you can refilm as many times as you want, and if people don’t like it, you can delete it.

It might help to start with something that doesn’t have a set script. For example, you could film a quick video of your team at a community event, or on an outing to a local coffee shop. In fact, we’ve found that tagging local businesses when it’s relevant in our videos helps build a sense of community. The business can share it on their accounts and then we get people who aren’t our clients talking about our agency.

Tell a story

One of our favorite people, Mr. Rogers, used to say, “When I was a boy and would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” Our client Pat Browning is one of these helpers. A retired healthcare worker, Pat was looking for ways to give back during the COVID-19 crisis – even at 86 years old. Yesterday, Claudia Rossberg McClain saw a letter Pat wrote the editor of the Everett Herald, offering to write to children who may be nervous during these times. To support Pat’s efforts, we were able to secure 150 Mr. Rogers stamps so Pat can respond to every child who needs a little extra encouragement right now. If you’d like, you or your children can write to Pat via the Everett Herald here: https://www.heraldnet.com/opinion/great-to-see-kids-letters-to-the-editor/ Thank you Pat for reminding us to look for the “helpers” in times like these! It’s been a privilege to work with you for the past 36 years!

Posted by McClain Insurance Services on Tuesday, March 31, 2020

As you move into more set topics or educational content, try to tell stories instead of worrying about memorizing a script. Relate the insurance topic to something in your own life: “My neighbor asked me this question the other day …” or “My friend just bought a new house and was asking me about …”

For example, we had a team member who participated in a drive-by birthday party where you decorate your car and drive by someone’s house and honk and cheer. She used that story as a jumping off point to talk about how if you’re staying at home, maybe it’s worth reviewing your mileage.

Getting started

In the coming months and years, agencies are going to operate differently than they have in the past. They’re going to have be a lot more comfortable with remote workers and digital communications. Video will be a huge part of that.

People crave connections with other people. Video can help you get more personal with clients and staff members when you can’t be together.

How does your agency use video? Let us know in the comments below.

Ashley Abrams

Marketer and Agent, McClain Insurance Services

Ashley Abrams is an insurance agent and marketing manager for McClain Insurance Services.

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